Bombing Everything, Gaining Nothing

What, precisely, is the US military for, and what, precisely, can it do? In practical terms, how powerful is it? On paper, it is formidable, huge, with carrier battle groups, advanced technology, remarkable submarines, satellites, and so on. What does this translate to? Military power does not exist independently, but only in relation to specific … Continue reading “Bombing Everything, Gaining Nothing”

Hillary, Trump, and War With Russia

Don’t look for a walk-over. The T14 Armata, Russia’s latest tank. You don’t want to fight this monster if you can think of a better idea, such as not fighting it. Russia once made large numbers of second-rate tanks. That worm has turned. This thing is way advanced and outguns the American M1A2, having a … Continue reading “Hillary, Trump, and War With Russia”

War, Football, and Realism: If Any

War may be thought of in two ways. First, as a football game between armies, in which the function of the citizenry is to cheer for the home team. In football, success is measured in points scored, yardage gained, brilliance of play, and time of possession. In war as football, it is battles won, enemies … Continue reading “War, Football, and Realism: If Any”

Reviving Napoleon’s Army

It is curious how little military men know about war. You would think they would think about it more. Yet, oddly, they regularly misjudge practically everything concerning the dismal trade. Their errors are not the sort that inevitably must occur in a contest, as when a quarterback doesn’t pick up a blitz. They are fundamental … Continue reading “Reviving Napoleon’s Army”

Emancipating the Military, Containing the Citizenry

Those who try to understand military policy often confuse themselves by focusing on minor matters such as strategy, tactics, logistics, and armament. Here they err. For years the central goal of the military, the brass ring, has been independence from control by civilians. It has been achieved. In time of war, the first concern of … Continue reading “Emancipating the Military, Containing the Citizenry”

China Sea Blues: A Thing Not To Do

It appears that Washington, ever a seething cauldron of bright ideas, is looking for a shooting war with China, or perhaps trying to make the Chinese kowtow and back down, the pretext being some rocks in the Pacific in which the United States cannot possibly have a vital national interest. Or, really, any interest. And … Continue reading “China Sea Blues: A Thing Not To Do”

Gapple and Oogle, Our Defenders

I read that Apple and Google have begun encrypting the data of customers so that nobody, including Apple and Google, have plaintext access to it. This of course means “so that the government will not have access to it.” The FBI is terribly upset about this, the first serious resistance against onrushing Orwellianism. God bless … Continue reading “Gapple and Oogle, Our Defenders”

Honor, Sacrifice, and Other Civilian Delusions

I read frequently among the less neuronal of the supposed honor of soldiers, of the military virtues of courage, loyalty, and uprightness — that in an age of moral decomposition only the military adheres to principles, and that our troops in places like Afghanistan nobly make sacrifices to preserve our freedoms and democracy. Is not … Continue reading “Honor, Sacrifice, and Other Civilian Delusions”

Cairo and the Impossibility of Intelligent Foreign Policy

Let’s see. We have a minor political dustup underway in London, in which some master diplomat on Top Gear, a British car show, said, “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as … Continue reading “Cairo and the Impossibility of Intelligent Foreign Policy”